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Telemark Newbie-What Gear do I need

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've been doing the downhill thing since I was a kid (now 35). Consider myself an high advanced maybe not quite expert skier. Ive been watching some of the telemarkers at the local resort and it looks like a blast. My wife is a beginner skier so I thought maybe I could learn to telemark while she learned to downhill. The problem is I know absolutly nothing about it. What gear should I get? Size? How much should I expect to pay to get into it etc.
I am 5'10" 215Lbs, athletic but know I could be in a little better shape (I'm sure those telemark turns will get me there fast or kill me trying). My current skis are Volkl AC4s in 177cm other skis I have really liked are the Volkl 5* Atomic Sugar Daddy and R11. My boots are Nordica Hot Rods (25.5), had Salmon xwave8 they were ok, and Tecnica Diablo fires which were way to wide. I would like to have good solid gear that will allow me to progress (and last a few years) but not be over gunned. I also don't need the latest and greatest but still would like solid performance. I would also be interested in used if anybody has anything that might work or suggestions for new at affordable prices. I can't pay $600+ for the latest Scarpa or Garmont boot. Thanks for your help
post #2 of 13
Thread Starter 
This would be primarily for resort skiing with a couple backcountry days year.
post #3 of 13
like with downhill... boots are very important! Get them fitted first, then worry about skis, bindings and skins!
post #4 of 13
For me I like a stiffer ski. You like the AC4 so go for something with about the same stiffness and length. Good boots are very important like rednuts said. when you do finally get geared up, take a lesson or go out with someone who is a compatent freeheeler... this will save you a lot of frustration. Don't make the mistake of putting the tele gear away and going back to alpine on every good powder day that comes along. You'll be surprized how much easier it is to pick up the tele turn in fresh snow as opposed to chopped conditions.
Good luck with it and enjoy!
post #5 of 13
Here's a break down of tele bindings. More active bindings = easier to turn typically. I understand the Hammerhead is a good option as it gives the skier setting choices and is great for introductory telemarkers. Despite what the chart says the Hammerheads are used by many for BC use.

One good option is to spend a few times demoing gear before spending a bunch of money on a rig and to become familiar with the various choices.

The Scarpa T2xs are excellent boots (if they fit) Black Diamond is unloading their stock and tis the season for sales. If you click on the Backcountry,com link below and go to the tele gear section (some up to 70% off), EpicSki gets some love if you purchase anything.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ptex has the volkl T Rocks for a great price. Would these be good for a beginner like me? Also would I be better to go with the shorter 172 instead of the 180 (shorter skis for the beginner)?
post #7 of 13
From Telemarkski.com:

Volkl T Rock

The T-Rock is Volkl's widest tele ski offering yet - and will likely prove to be one of the hottest skis this season. This stable all-around ski is wide enough to float in the soft stuff, but can hold an edge on firm snow too.
Sizing Chart

Sounds like a fun ski and you could go either way with length. I'm your same height, but lighter and might flip a coin on length. With the fatter width, the nod might go to the 172 as it'd be a bit more forgiving, I'd expect. Size boots and bindings to drive these skis.
post #8 of 13
I tele on both caving and powder tele skis. Many companies make tele skis that are exactly like their alpine models, except they leave a layer out to make them a little softer. Since tele skiing is done with your weight more or less evenly distributed on both skis, as opposed to all your weight on one ski at time in alpine, you want skis that are softer than your alpines since you are applying less weight to flex them. A stiff ski will throw you around and be less forgiving while learning to tele, so I would recommend being cautious about going too stiff unless you can demo the skis first. The Volkl T-rock is an excellent ski, but it is on the stiff end of tele/AT specific skis.

Once your skills and speed improve you will probably want to go stiffer on your next pair of tele skis, but for starting out you will probably take less lumps with a softer more forgiving ski. If you are coming from an alpine background you will have an initial tendency to jump with all your weight on the front ski, which will only be increased if it takes more force to bend it. IMO you will learn the correct tele technique faster if you start with a little softer ski, but I am sure there are others who would say get a beefy ski and go for it. Just my 2 cents worth.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok I picked up some T2X's today. They seem to fit reallly well albeit a little tight. Hopefully they will lossen up. Still looking for skis and bindings. Ptex hasn't responded to my PM about the T rocks so I guess they must be gone. The local shop were I bought my boots had some Voile hardwire CRB bindings on sale. Has anybody used these? I think I like the idea of a releaseable binding but they do look kind of large and clunky compared to others. If they work well I don't mind. What are some of your feelings on releaseable bindings? Good? Bad?? or???
I'm starting to get excited to give this telemark stuff a try.
post #10 of 13
Did you get the liners heated and fitted? They can fit like a glove and will pack out with use.

The Karhu 7TMs are also releasable bindings and well liked by some. It's a personal choice, until now, I've never felt a strong need even though I've gotten into 'interesting' positions over the years. With older bones and lower frequency, I'm starting to reconsider, but it's not a priority.

With a lot of choices, it's easy to over think gear choices. Many skis will probably be fine and one option is to throw bindings on some used alpine skis to at least get out and make turns.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I havn't got them heated yet. I didn't have my ski socks with me at the time so I will be going back. I got size 26.0, my toes touched the end and would come off when I flexed forward. They seem to be about perfect (my alpine boots are size 25.5 Nordica Hot Rods, street shoes 9). I've been keeping an eye out for some used alpine skis to mount up. At the urging of my wife I house cleaned last fall and got rid of all my old gear. I guess I should have held on to a pair. Also does anybody know of a good book that will explain what I need to be learning?
post #12 of 13
Go to Telemarktips.com
post #13 of 13
I prefer Voilé CRB 3-pin/Hardwire. Skis better with the duckbill clamped down. My boot had some play in the Hardwire without 3-pin, still skied fine, but I like 3-pin with Hardwire better. Easier to flex bellows of rear foot, tighter connection of boot sole to ski.

"Allen & Mike's Really Cool Telemark Tips"
"Freeheel Skiing" by Paul Parker
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